CDC Reports Flu Levels Remain ElevatedFebruary 15, 2019
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As flu levels remain elevated nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report this year’s vaccination is 47 percent effective overall against preventing influenza.
The vaccination has been most effective for youth, with a 61 percent effectiveness level for children up to age 17. However, just 24 percent of adults age 50 and over who received the shot were completely protected from the flu.
Fortunately, so far the 2018-2019 flu season has been milder than last year’s. Flu activity was low during October and November, increased in late December and then remained elevated through early February.
As of February 2, 28 children have died of flu-related complications. Last winter, an estimated 80,000 Americans, including 180 children, died of flu and its complications. Eighty percent of the children who died last year had not been vaccinated. Infection control authorities believe the milder season is due to the prevalence of the H1N1 virus strain. In 2017-2018, the H3N2 strain, which causes more severe illness, was prominent.